German researchers at the University Medical Center, Hamburg-Eppendorf, have found that acupuncture improves nerve regeneration in chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy. The progress is measurable both in terms of subjective reporting by patients, and objective neurological findings.
In a cross-over study, 60 patients were randomly assigned to either an acupuncture group, or to a waiting list control group. Ten acupuncture sessions were given once per week. The groups were then reversed, for a further ten weeks of treatment to be given this time to the former waiting list group.
After 28 weeks, evaluation of both groups showed that sensory nerve amplitude and conduction velocity were both improved after acupuncture, compared with the control group. Acupuncture patients also reported improvements in symptoms such as burning pain, cramps, numbness, symptom frequency and unsteadiness of gait. Physical examination revealed that acupuncture patients had significant improvements in blind walking, heel-to-toe walking, ability to perceive vibration and neuropathy deficit scores, compared with the waiting list group.